Is the G3 dead?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by sigamy, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    I've been itching to pick up an iBook but I'm on a tight budget. I don't really need one either, just want to have one again.

    It would be used 70% of the time for surfing and email. The other 30% (maybe more) would be used for iLife apps--create a small iMovie, maybe rip/burn a CD or two in iTunes, view photos in iPhoto, burn a VCD/SVCD.

    So, would a 900mhz G3 iBook be able to handle these tasks? And more importantly, going forward to Tiger and future versions of iLife, will having the Altivec engine be that much more important?

    Or put it this way if you could get a loaded 900mhz G3 iBook for $600 or a base 800Mhz G4 iBook for $750, which is the better deal?
  2. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    Once you want to do any video stuff, you push yourself over. Forget the G3, get the G4.
  3. zen_state macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    the G3 is far from dead as IBM is still making and advancing the G3 technology.

    the only iapp that HAS to have a G4 is iDVD. if I were you I would get a refurbed ibook G4 though. not because the G3 is no good but the white G3 ibooks have logic board problems.
  4. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Clock for clock, the later G3s can beat the G4s without the use of AltiVec because IBM gave them much better floating point power. Of course, Apple's iLife applications use AltiVec when available and they make a laptop computer run hot and drain the battery more quickly.

    Are you looking for stronger performance or do you have patience? Obviously, if you leave it plugged in, you don't have to worry about the battery but that's really important to you?
  5. atari1356 macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004
    If you can afford it, go with the G4. A 900MHz G3 is decent for web/email... but if you plan on doing any cd ripping/video stuff the G4 will be a big improvement.

    You may also take into consideration the video card in each iBook. You didn't post the complete specs of each, but if the G4 has a better video card with more video ram, then I'd definitely spend the extra cash for it to ensure the longevity of the machine with future versions of Mac OS X.
  6. comictimes macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Berkeley, California
    An 800 or 900 Mhz G3 should be acceptable for what you want. Admittedly it will be far from great, but I'm typing on a 400 Mhz G3 rght now, and it's certainly usable for web browsing and such... kinda slow, but sertainly usable. So a 900 Mhz would certainly suffice... basically.
  7. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I use my 400 MHz G3 everyday, and it handles everything just fine. Just make sure to have more than 256 MB of RAM.
  8. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    Well, it'd bed fine for what you want to do, but there is always the possibility of the logic board failing.
    I'd say go G4 for that alone.
  9. Rocksaurus macrumors 6502a


    Sep 14, 2003
    Aren't the logic boards on the G3 iBooks... crap? Like, they die often? Is the 900 MHz model exempt from this plague? I don't know, but you should find out. An 800 MHz G4 that works will always be better than a dead 900 MHz G3. :confused:
  10. budugu macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2004
    Boston, MA
    At some point the updated OS will not run smoothly, thus it is always better to go G4 way! the 100$ you save is not worth it if the next OS upgrade wil not work.
  11. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004

    I am going off the top of my head, but I think the 600mhz G3 iBook had an 8mb ATI Rage, the 700mhz one had a 16mb 7500 radeon, and 800 and 900mhz ones had a 32mb ati something or other. I don't think the card currently in the G4 iBooks is that different.

    I would go for a refurbed G4 iBook if you can, if not a new one. The G3 served us well, but altivec makes a hell of a difference in the apps that use it.


  12. Yotabyte macrumors member


    Nov 15, 2004
    Perth, Australia.
    Hmmmm I'd say just get the new ibook G4, if you're willing to pay $800 for a refurb, why not an extra $199 for a brand new, faster, and better-in-every-way notebook that will last longer? Just save up a little longer. You said you really don't need it, and it's always good to have something to look forward to. :p
  13. zen_state macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    the new ibm 1 and 1.1GHz G3 upgrades that are out for G3's and yikes G4's have been said by many to scream.

    one reviewer on xlr8yourmac said: "it's great advantage is that it speeds up the Finder, Safari, and the user interface in general by a very large amount. It is much faster than my current G4/450, G4/450DP, and responsiveness feels similar to an eMac G4 1GHz and an upgraded Sawtooth 1.2 GHz."

    he was reviewing the 1.1. a G4 is just a G3 with an altivec core added and only about 5-8% of mac apps use it. if a good deal on a G3 (one that has already had the replacment board) then get it. in floating point scores a 1 Ghz G3 in a blue and white beats a 1.2Ghz G4 is a sawtooth G4. the new IBM 750GX G3 screams plain and simple.
  14. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    If it were me I would go for the G4. With the upcoming Tiger release, things should just go smoother that way. You could always run into compatibility issues. The amount saved other wise could cause of night mare.
  15. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    As for the logic board issues, the 900 MHz G3 iBooks are exempt from this problem.

    As you can see from the sig, I'm using a 900 MHz G3 iBook. Frankly, the G3 ain't bad at all. The machine doesn't feel slow at all. The only issues I have with the G3 is the stuff it can't do - particularly in video and multimedia (no real time editing in FCP, no streaming from a video source through iChat, chokes on large videos, rare stutters in DVD movies, etc).

    But as much as I love the G3, I suggest you go and get a G4 iBook, it'll serve you for longer.
  16. point665 macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2004
    My iBook 800 is covered by the G3 logic board repair program not once have I had a problem with it. An 800mhz G4 is better than a G3? not so. Compare a 800 G3 to a 867 G4 Powerbook AL, the G3 had at the time 512 L2, while the G4 only had 256, meaning if you were doing something the G3 would smoke the G4... Even on a fresh reboot and clean OS the G4 lagged when pressing common buttons such as volume down and such. It even had more ram then my G3.
  17. Photorun macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2003
    I use an iBook G3 500 MHz two USB, one Firewire Dinosaur Chicklet iBook, one of the original ones in the new current form factor (ordered it the day they went on sale). I still use it a few times a week for WiFi surfing around the campus I work at and/or I take it to my favorite WiFi coffee shop. It still handles the internet and email perfectly fine. It handles Microcrap Orface apps okay too.

    Every once and a while I have to use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop on it for some on-the-go action and that DOES bog down, even with 768 MB of RAM, not impossible, just I'm impatient and work on a DP 2.0 G5 most of the time so I'm spoiled. It's manageable at best for Adobe apps, I wouldn't try too much above that in terms of processor intensive apps. I am running 10.3.5 on it though and it has definitely been snappier since putting 10.3 on it than 10.2, interesting to note.

    If you're not doing graphics or, like others said, editing DVDs on it, I wouldn't worry, it will run any and everything from the internet just fine (including intensive Flash animations, no problem) and it'll run your typical office-type programs (AppleWorks, M$ Office, et. al) with aplomb.

    Remember a computer is a tool, and a true craftsman never blames his tools! :D
  18. zen_state macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

    glad to hear you have gotten so much use out of it and still are. one of the main reasons I love macs.
  19. IDANNY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2003
    Las vegas
    Far from dead

    I am using a clamshell ibook rite now the one with the colors.
    I just sold my powerbook g4 667 MHz titanium 15 inch. I can feel the difference and it sure is a big difference. But I think this ibook could run for the next 5 years. and it is like 5 years old already.
    466 MHz PowerPC g3
    memory 320 mb
    mac os x version 10.3.6
  20. earthtoandy macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2003
    well if you can buy a g4 powerbook for 750..... why not save a little more and get a NEW ibook?
  21. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    My iBook G4 800 had, over the course of 2 months:

    1. Bad RAM. Apple replaced it.
    2. Logic Board Failure. Apple replaced that.
    3. Catastrophic hard drive failure. Again, an Apple replacement. (No new iBook for me).

    I got rid of it.

    So the G4's aren't exempt from issues.

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